The British weather is an eternally popular topic of conversation – often to the point of satire – and is regularly the cause of much disgruntled grumbling about grey clouds and drizzle. However, the country has been the subject of some pretty devastating, and largely unexpected, freak weather events in its time. Mostly, these come in the form of gale force winds, deep snow, hail storms, heavy rain and cold snaps – all of which can be potentially damaging to your roof.
Of these, severe winds and hail are perhaps the two biggest threats, and a number of steps should be taken before a forecast storm arrives to protect your roof from the elements. It’s rare that a roof will not be designed to handle the typical wind strengths of its area, yet, even in the normally temperate UK, extreme weather conditions can never be ruled out.
Certain parts of the roof will be subject to more damage than others, such as the perimeter that bears much of the load. Most damage results from a fluctuation between a downward blowing force (positive pressure) and an upward suction (negative pressure), pushing and pulling the roof structure around and initiating stress around the edges.
If wind can get below the membrane of the roof at all, problems could escalate rapidly. If it has more to ‘grab on to’, the positive and negative pressure combination can begin to peel back the roof from underneath, both perpetuating damage to the structure and allowing precipitation to enter your home.
Similarly, tile movement and damage has obvious negative consequences, such as an increase in permeability and the risk of leaks, and should be assessed and attended to immediately. During high winds and storms, your roof is in danger of sustaining damage from falling debris, and falling tree branches or sharp stones can be massively hazardous.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your roof from extreme weather conditions, such as checking for loose tiles and gaps on your roof before a forecast storm arrives. This is vital – if this is left unattended, your roof will be highly vulnerable during strong winds and rain. The same applies to guttering, fascias and around chimney stacks, which take most of the brunt of the weather.
Tie down or bring inside all loose items, such as ladders, garden furniture or ornaments, and keep the area below chimney stacks clear in case of collapse. Evidence shows that, even in hurricane conditions, roofs will rarely blow off completely, and are far more susceptible to puncturing and cracked tiles as a result of airborne debris.
Check that your home insurance policy covers storm damage – it should, although flying debris destruction is generally excluded. If so, most repairs should be completely covered, putting your mind at ease during periods of excessive weather.
This post was written by skilled and experienced roofers at Morgan Asphalte Roofing Ltd, who are fully accreditated from all relevant associations, including Trust Mark and Constructionline.